After opening the crosstown rivalry series with a 10-0 win on senior night, the Glynn Academy Lady Terrors (10-12, 5-11) grabbed the series with a 9-1 victory over Brunswick High (3-19, 1-15) on Wednesday.
As both teams sent out familiar faces to the circle for their opponents to figure out— Peyton Wilborn (Glynn) and Libbi Denham (Brunswick) — Brunswick put together the first moment of the game at the bottom of the first.
Working back-to-back infield singles with Nija’ Story and Maci Moore beating the throws down to first, the Lady Terrors defense stuck it out by forcing short popouts before Wilborn recorded her first strikeout looking.
Able to record another strikeout without a swing to end the bottom half of the second, Wilborn led off the top half of the third to open the floodgates for the Lady Terrors as she slapped a single to the outfield grass. Mikel Thomas hit a short roller to shortstop but an error on the grounder allowed runners on first and second before Olivia DeRohn worked a walk to load the bases.
Glynn recorded its first run of the inning as Denham’s pitch caught the leg of Gigi Smiley to bring in Wilborn. As one Wilborn crossed the plate another stepped up in the box as Skylar recorded an RBI by way of an error to keep the bases loaded. Jada Boatright hit a bases-clearing double that zipped past the Lady Pirates left fielder to push the score to 5-0. Glynn added one more run on a double by Audrey Slayton.
Down 6-0, Brunswick still had chances as they put a few runners on the base paths but it was a double play in the bottom of the third that left Brunswick softball coach Rayven Riggs distraught at the missed opportunity.
“Just too many base running errors really just ran us out of innings,” Riggs said. “But, we did score so that’s a positive.”
As Story stood on second with one out and Raegan Walczak in the box, Walczak hit a high fly ball that was destined to land on the right field paint. That was before DeRohn made an extended reach to snag the ball and fired a throw to second to catch Story in her mistake of not tagging up on the play.
“My senior out in right field Olivia DeRohn killed it today,” said Glynn Academy softball coach Dawn Ketcham. “She was all over it, and I was so proud of her. Diving back to the base, diving for balls and I hadn’t seen it in her yet.
“In practice, we practice things like that on purpose, the second out, the second play. Always be ready for the next throw. We try to not stop with just one. It helps because then they know that they have to get rid of the ball and need to know where the runner is to adjust.”
Glynn added a run in the fourth off a Skylar Wilborn sacrifice fly. Another Brunswick base-running mistake kept possible runs off the board.
In the bottom of the fifth with runners on first and second and one out on the scoreboard, Story hit a sharp liner into the glove of Smiley at short. She fired a quick throw to the covering Trinity Wise at second to get Jayda Clinch out to end the inning.
“She is always very solid at the plate and I never worry about her at the plate, but on defense this year she has been solid all around this season,” Ketcham said. “For a while, we were moving people around and she played third base for us, she played shortstop, and no matter what, she plays great. A solid player.”
The Lady Terrors added runs eight and nine on a single by Skylar Wilborn to give her four in the game and push the team’s lead to 9-0 heading into the final half frame of the game.
Having such a young team and keeping Denham in the game throughout the contest, Riggs and her staff kept encouraging her and the rest of the Lady Pirates throughout the game.
“She is young so she needs as much positivity as she can,” Riggs said. “She did her job, she was producing outs, and that’s all we can ask for.”
Brunswick rallied off back-to-back singles to open the inning before a throwing error on a double play attempt scored Moore for the team’s lone run of the game.
As Peyton Wilborn struck out Mary-Beth Kelly to bring Brunswick to its final out of the game, Ketcham had to remind her to not worry about anything other than the batter she was facing before closing out the game on a grounder.
With the third game concluding before Thursday’s press, Glynn Academy is still on the outside looking in for the fourth and final playoff spot from Region 2-6A. But either way, Coach Ketcham is encouraged by the growth of her team.
“I know that right now it is going to be mathematically one of those things where it will have to happen for us because we didn’t do our part when we played Lakeside. We knew that after those first nine losses in the region we had to come out on top with the last nine and we didn’t do that on our part. Mathematically we are going to need to beat Lakeside on Monday and then hope Brunswick beats Lakeside on Tuesday.
“I told the ladies that you played well enough and that you should be in the Super Regional. You should. It makes no sense why you are not there other than you played flat on Saturday when we needed you the most. When it comes down to it and you look at our errors and stuff, we made one error in three games against Effingham. We are doing it right and getting better and gelling as a team. They are here to play for each other and it is just great. It is great to watch and it is great to coach them I love this group. I really do.”